Ichiban Japanese Steak House

I have to admit when I go to Foley I typically stop at my favorite place, Lambert's, for lunch.  This time was a little different.  Not only was it above 100 degrees out, there was also an hour and half wait.  Rather to endure the heat, my friends and I decided to go somewhere else for lunch.  I remember driving pass Ichiban on the way to the outlets so we decided to check it out.

I ordered Sunomono as an appetizer.  It's assorted raw fish, a cooked shrimp and cucumber slices drizzled in a ponzu sauce.  There was something off about it.  On certain pieces, it had mercury taste to it.  I had some of the tuna and salmon by themselves and it didn't have that mercury taste.  The shrimp definitely had it though.  I was surprise there was conch mixed in too.  I don't usually find that in very many places.  I wouldn't order this again because I couldn't pinpoint where that mercury taste came from. 

I ordered a bento box for lunch.  I don't quite remember how much this was but I think it was in the $10 to $12 range.  It is a very good price for the amount of food.  It comes with a choice of two meats, dumplings, rice, seaweed salad, 4 pieces of California roll, soup and salad.  

Starting with the salad, it is typical of what you would get at other Japanese restaurants but the ginger dressing seem to have more fish sauce.  My brother was turned off by that but I still thought it was good. The miso soup had a lot of tofu flavor.  It wasn't too salty either.  I thought it was a nice way to cleanse your palate of the ginger dressing.  

When I saw the price, I was sure I was going to get a measly amount of chicken and scallop but that was not the case at all.  The scallops are nice and big sea scallops.  I ordered mine teriyaki style and they were very tender.  The sauce was killer.  It wasn't too sweet and still had a lot of soy sauce flavor to it.  I knocked my rice over the little dividers to soak it all up and chowed down.  The meal came with a lot of chicken too but it was cut rather small.  I was concerned it would be dry but didn't think it was too much either way.  I would have liked it to be cut a little bigger though but that's just my preference.  My favorite thing was actually the dumplings.  It tastes like a pork dumpling that has been pan fried.  It sits on a little pool of soy sauce.  There's a slight bite on the outside but still soft on the inside.  

Ichiban has a rather large banner hanging under their sign proclaiming "buy one special roll, get one free."  I thought it was a great deal but once we got inside we found it out was buy one special roll and get a regular roll for free.  It's still a bargain but I thought it was a little misleading.  So beware.

My brother ordered the Fancy Roll for $12.95 and got the Salmon Skin roll for free.  The Fancy roll is yellowtail, salmon, crab, avocado topped with scallop, fish roe and spicy and wasabi mayo.  This was so melt in your mouth, literally.  The piece of roll was just kinda fall apart in my mouth allowing me to taste all of the components.  I have to say I really enjoyed it. The salmon skill roll is pretty self explanatory.  It's crispy fried salmon skin that been wrapped up with cucumbers and drizzled with eel sauce.  For how relatively simple this was, it was delicious.  There was a lot of flavor packed into this thing.  It was a great balance of salty from the salmon skin and sweet from the sauce.   

My friend ordered the Play Boy roll for $13.95 and got the Shrimp tempura roll for free. I think the take out menu and the actual menu are not the same so I can't tell you exactly what's inside the Play Boy roll.  I did have a couple of pieces and can say it was delicious.

All in all, it was a decent experience.  The waitress was nice and kept checking on us.  I wish she was able to explain the menu a bit better though.  The restaurant appeared small to begin with but really opens up towards the back.  There looks to be four big hibachi tables in the back and a side room.  Plenty of room for parties and big groups.  

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